Monday, November 12, 2007

Imagine

Imagine. You drive into Horseshoe Bay, join the queue, and then turn off your engine. You are off on a great adventure. You get out of your vehicle and take a little stroll while you wait. You pass a mother with her child. You hear the child exclaim, “But Mom, you said we were going to see a fairy. All I see is a big boat.” You chuckle to yourself as you continue on. Time passes quickly and the next thing you know, you’re boarding that big boat. You cover your ears as the horn blasts loudly. The boat leaves the terminal. It meanders its way along the coast, through the islands and across the straight. You pass numerous abodes: large houses, estates, mansions, little cottages, cabins and make-shift shelters. They dot the hills and cliffs. You wonder about the people who live there, where they work, what they do, who they are, these people who are so tied to the water, so exposed to the elements. Water, water, water, water, water. Wind. The ferry approaches the other side. We are now nearing the Nanaimo terminal. You patiently wait to be signaled off. You disembark. You drive through the town and head north on the Island Highway. You continue along following the pack of cars that came before you. Slowly they disperse along the way. Just north of Parksville, you take the Highway 4 exit towards Port Alberni. You drive along the narrow, winding, twisty highway across the island.
You take in the views of snow capped mountains and rushing streams as you traverse the passes. You travel through dense forests where the trees loom high overhead obstructing the few rays of autumn sunshine fighting to get through. You pull over into a small parking lot alongside the highway. This is Cathedral grove.

You get out of your vehicle and stare in awe at these ancient towering giants some of which are 800 plus years old. The huge branches stretch out above draped majestically with moss. The largest tree in this particular grove has a circumference of 9 metres and stands a proud 76 metres high. It was once much taller, but its top snapped off in a horrific windstorm in 1997. It is still, however, a sight to behold. The air seems denser, thicker, moister. Your breathing is as slow and calm as the zephyr which gently moves through the trees. You listen to the forest speak. You take in its noises, you breathe its peace. You are transported to a place where time doesn’t exist. It doesn’t matter. After thoughtful meditation, you decide to continue on to your final destination. You pull out of the parking lot and onto the winding highway a much calmer you. You continue along towards BC’s rugged west coast. Before you even get there, you can almost smell the salt in the air. You finally have it…your first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean.

You pull into the famed Long Beach with its miles of pristine sand. You rush from your vehicle and head straight for the crashing waves. You follow the thundering roar of the surf and disappear into the sheets of ocean mist. You spend the remainder of the afternoon exploring the coves and beach, checking out the tidal pools, watching a few brave surfers ride the giant curling waves, following the shore birds, mesmerized by it all. You end it all with a glorious west coast sunset.

34 comments:

rowena said...

That photo of the lake and mountains - delightful! On our recent hike, we ended a long day with a scene almost similiar to your sunset there. Makes me feel so very privileged to be able to enjoy what nature has to offer. Thanks for a beautiful post!

Steffi said...

WOW...what fantastic pictures!I wish I could visit this wonderful nature in the really life too.

thailandchani said...

Beautiful!

bohemiangirl said...

Oh! Thank you for taking us along on your beautiful adventure. I needed me a good dose of the west coast.

Carla said...

Rowena, We are very privileged. Sometimes it just takes my breath away.

Steffi, Germany has some fabulous places to visit too. I would love to get back there. I hope that you do get a chance to visit this area some day.

Carla said...

Chani, I know. I am very lucky to be able to experience such beauty.

Bohemian Girl, Most welcome. The east coast also has its own brand of beauty. I love the seascapes there.

philosophyoflife said...

The visual scenes are breathtakingly beautiful and enhanced by your descriptive awareness --- one is left envious to be at such a location.

Amazing photography - keep posting..

The Fool said...

Very nice travelogue, Nomad. Beautiful photos and acompanying words. Thank you for sharing. So this is where you met that odd lil' Nomad bird, eh?

:)

Carla said...

Philosophy of Life, The west coast of BC is an incredible beautiful area. I am most fortunate to live so close.

Fool, Pacific Rim National Park is an amazing place. Hard not to get good snaps. And yep, that's where I met that odd little bird. Funny chap, he was.

Pamela said...

awe filled pictures and words

TK Kerouac said...

Breath taking photos, but even without them,
your descriptive words took me there.

Sirdar said...

I loved Cathedral Grove. My parents lived in Campbell River for a number of years. We didn't get to see them that much be we enjoyed the time on the island. We are going to the island in April to take my son for a week on a sailboat. He gets to go...we just get to drive him there. While there, we will explore the island I hope.

Carla said...

Pamela, Thanks. I'm glad you think so.

Tracey, I hope you enjoyed the voyage.

Carla said...

Sirdar, I hope you do have the chance to explore a little. It's well worth it. A week on a sailboat sounds lovely. How lucky for your son.

Guilty Secret said...

Wow. Just: wow. That was so beautiful! Thanks for taking me away for a few minutes :)

Carla said...

Guilty, I'm glad you enjoyed it. It's good to escape once in awhile.

Debbie said...

That shot of the ocean, is just plain wonderful. I can almost hear the crashing of the waves. And your words are gorgeously descriptive...as usual! Awesome post.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Beautiful!
Thank you for taking us along for the ride.

Carrie said...

Sigh... what a lovely getaway. I enjoy being reminded just how beautiful Canada REALLY is.

Carla said...

Debbie, If I close my eyes, I'm pretty sure I can hear the waves as well. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

Sandi, You're most welcome. It's a beautiful place to go.

Carla said...

Carrie, There really are so many amazingly beautiful places in Canada. We are most fortunate, indeed.

dawn said...

Great photos, and I am one of the fortunate that don't have to imagine so much as remember. We went to those places with my in-laws a number of years ago, when they lived on the island. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

jillie said...

What a beautiful post and the pictures! Well done Carla. I think I want to be there RIGHT now.

LOL at the little girl asking about the "fairy". So cute!

xo

Carla said...

Dawn, It's a great place for memories, isn't it? So much beauty and such a peaceful place.

Jillie, It's a worthwhile trip. Beautiful place. Yep, that girl was a real gem. Priceless.

VE said...

Nice pictures. I can say I don't have to imagine either. I've done these exact things in those exact places. Very nice.

Annie Wicking and Loman Austen said...

Wow what wonderful photographs.
It's a world away and so peaceful.

Thank you for sharing it with us.
It's like taking a journey without leaving my room.

Best wishes

Annie

Carla said...

VE, But probably not at the exact same times. That would be quite a coincidence, wouldn't it?

Annie, You are welcome to join me any time you please. The more the merrier.

Dan said...

Gorgeous. I'm so jealous. :)

paris parfait said...

Oh, wow! Just gorgeous, breathtaking photos! Thanks so much for giving us a glimpse into such an amazing experience.

pandave said...

ah-mazing. those trees are incredible. i get so ticked off when i walk the streets and i see all those xmas trees that are all cut off and dying and going to be dumped on the streets in a few weeks.
oh and that sunset? priceless.

Carla said...

Pandave, there is real fear that those tree giants will soon be gone forever. If it's not the logging companies trying to get their grubby hands on the things, it's bizarre weather patterns from climate change knocking them over. It's definitely saddening.

CanadianCarrie said...

Love your blog and photos! I live in Southern Alberta south of Calgary. I really believe we live in the best place in the world, the mountains and chinooks are a couple of the best things about it! I have only flown over the mountains to VAncouver, which was awe inspiring, but I do love driving in the mountains! We are planning a family road trip to Vancouver this summer, hopefully for Canada Day, so we will get to see it all!

Carla said...

Dan, Paris Parfait, Somehow I seem to have missed replying to your comments earlier. My apologies. So glad you love the photos.

Carla said...

Canadian Carrie, I'm so glad you decided to stop by. We most certainly do live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. I've traveled extensively which has only made me appreciate our corner of the earth more. You will love the road trip. If you would like any suggestions, let me know.